Cornbread with cheddar, feta and jalapeño
Prep 15 min Cook 50 min Serves 10
2 small fresh corn cobs, kernels shaved off (150g), or 150g frozen corn kernels, defrosted 140g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper
50g light brown soft sugar
Salt and pepper 180g instant polenta
360g soured cream 2 large eggs 120ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra for greasing 4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped 10g coriander leaves, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
For the topping
100g into roughly feta, broken 2cm chunks 100g mature cheddar, coarsely grated 1 fresh jalapeño chilli, cut into thin rounds ½ small red onion, peeled and cut into 5mm slices 2 tsp nigella seeds The “bread” in cornbread is a wonderful euphemism for “cake”. You can spread it with lots of butter and have it for breakfast, but you can also serve it as part of meze spread or with a roasted chicken.
Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas 3½. Put a large ovenproof cast-iron saute pan, about 25cm wide, on a high flame. Once hot, add the corn kernels and dry-fry for four to five minutes, stirring from time to time, until slightly blackened. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cumin and cayenne into a large bowl. Add the sugar along with one and a half teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper. Stir through and set aside.
Add the polenta, soured cream, eggs and oil to a separate bowl and whisk lightly. Add to the dry ingredients, then fold in the spring onion, coriander, jalapeño and toasted corn until just combined.
Lightly oil the base and sides of the pan used to toast the corn, pour in the cornbread mixture and evenly scatter over all the topping ingredients. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Serve the cornbread hot straight from the oven or leave to cool for 30 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature the same day. If serving it the next day, warm through in the oven just before.